U.S. Seventh Circuit - The FindLaw 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

December 2009 News

Etherly v. Schwartz, No. 09-3535

In habeas proceedings of a defendant convicted of first degree murder when he was fifteen years old and sentenced to a forty-year term of imprisonment, state's motion for a stay of release is granted as it is not likely that district court's grant of habeas relief will be affirmed as traditional factors for a stay overcome the petitioner's presumption in favor of release.  

Read Etherly v. Schwartz, No. 09-3535

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 31, 2009

Judges

Before: Bauer, Ripple, and Kanne, Circuit Judges

Per Curium Opinion

Loparex, LLC v. NLRB, No. 09-2187

Decision by the National Labor Relations Board to order petitioner-manufacturing company to cease and desist engaging in a number of unfair labor practices against its employees in their efforts to unionize the workforce and to take several affirmative steps to remedy its past violations is enforced in its entirety where: 1) the company violated section 8(a)(1) of the National Labor Relations Act when, against a backdrop of a corporate policy that permitted employees to use the bulletin boards for a variety of non-work purposes, it shut off access in response to union organizing activity; 2) company restriction on union organizing in the company parking lot constituted an unfair labor practice under section 8(a)(1); 3) company's prohibition on passing out union buttons was overbroad.     

Read Loparex, LLC v. NLRB, No. 09-2187

Appellate Information

Petition for Review of an Order of the National Labor Relations Board

Decided December 31, 2009

Judges

Before:  Easterbrook, Chief Judge, and Wood and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Wood, Circuit Judge

World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, No. 08-4167

In a consolidated case involving the rights of religious organizations to avoid having to comply with local land-use regulations, dismissal of the suits is affirmed in part and reversed in part where: 1) the district court erred in dismissing World Outreach's substantial-burden claim under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, as the burden imposed on a small religious organization catering to the poor was substantial and there was no possible justification for it; 2) a deliberate, irrational discrimination, even if it is against one person rather than a group, is actionable under the equal protection clause, and as this claim is supported by the allegations of Outreach's complaint, it should not have been dismissed; 3) World Outreach's claim for damages for violation of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance is barred by the state's tort immunity act and therefore was properly dismissed; 4) dismissal of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church's claim is affirmed as the burden imposed on Trinity, a substantial religious organization, by the landmark designation that disables it from demolishing the apartment house is modest as the building has not been rendered uninhabitable by the designation. 

Read World Outreach Conference Center v. City of Chicago, No. 08-4167

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 30, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rovner, Posner and Cudahy, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

US v. Are, No. 07-3246

Conviction of defendants, known as the "Four Corner Hustlers" gang on the south side of Chicago, for drug conspiracy involving variety of illegal drugs and guns is affirmed as a review of the record leads to the conclusion that despite the large number of issues raised on appeal, by and large, the district court properly handled the case. 

Read US v. Are, No. 07-3246

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 30, 2009

Judges

Before:  Evans, Posner and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Tinder, Circuit Judge

US v. Marion, No. 09-2525

District court's decision denying defendant's motion to reduce his sentence under 18 U.S.C. section 3582(c)(2) is remanded as the court's written analysis on the order form with a single sentence of explanation is a bit too terse to allow meaningful review of its decision, and here, the problem arises from the fact that it is impossible to ensure that the district court did not abuse its discretion if the order shows only that the district court exercised its discretion rather than showing how its exercised that discretion. 

Read US v. Marion, No. 09-2525

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

Decided December 29, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rovner, Posner and Kanne, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Kanne, Circuit Judge

Majeski v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., No. 09-1930

In plaintiff-employee's ERISA action against defendant-employer for denying her claim for short-term disability benefits, summary judgment in favor of the defendant is vacated and remanded as a plan administrator's procedures are not reasonable if its determination ignores, without explanation, substantial evidence that the claimant has submitted that addresses what the plan itself has defined as the ultimate issue of whether plaintiff's functional limitations were objectively documented.  

Read Majeski v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., No. 09-1930

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 29, 2009

Judges

Before:  Wood, Evans, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Wood, Circuit Judge

US v. Neighbors, No. 09-1113

Sentence and conviction of defendants for conspiracy to possess and distribute crack cocaine is affirmed where: 1) the district court did not err in denying defendants' motion for a mistrial because, although the venire lacked any African-Americans, defendants did not show that systematic exclusion of African-Americans caused this void; 2) the district court did not abuse its discretion in allowing a detective to identify defendants' voices on the wiretap tapes; 3) the district court did not abuse its discretion when it allowed the jury to take transcript books back to the deliberation room; 4) the district court did not abuse its discretion in excluding letters written by a witness, even under Rule 613; 5) there was no error in denying defendants' motion for directed verdict based on the variance between the verdict and the indictment; and 6) there was no error in sentencing one of the defendants within the highest possible point in the Guidelines range.     

Read US v. Neighbors, No. 09-1113

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Evansville Division

Decided December 29, 2009

Judges

Before:  Flaum, Wood and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by  Flaum, Circuit Judge

US v. Young, No. 08-2357

In the prosecution of an employee at a day spa where sexual massages were provided to spa customers, imposition of the minimum term of imprisonment called for by the Sentencing Guidelines on defendant convicted of conspiring to use the facilities of interstate commerce to facilitate prostitution is affirmed as the district court properly determined defendant's offense level and she has not shown which of the Guidelines factors, if any, was sufficiently meritorious to require explicit discussion by the court or to rebut the presumption of reasonableness attached to the within-Guidelines sentence imposed.     

Read US v. Young, No. 08-2357

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division

Decided December 23, 2009

Judges

Before:  Rovner, Manion, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Rovner,  Circuit Judge

Knight v. Wiseman, No. 09-1435

In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 claim against two correctional officers alleging violation of his Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by requiring him to work despite a prior shoulder injury, summary judgment in favor of defendants is affirmed where: 1) the district court correctly concluded that, in the absence of evidence showing that the officers actually knew of plaintiff's shoulder injury before he reinjured it, it could not be reasonably inferred that the defendants exhibited deliberate indifference to any serious medical condition of the plaintiff when they made him work; 2) the district court correctly found that, even if the defendants knew of plaintiff's previous injury, such knowledge would not have raised a question of material fact as to whether they acted with deliberate indifference; and 3) evidence shows without any issue of material fact that the officers responded to plaintiff's injury as prudently as they could while maintaining proper safety procedures at the work site.      

Read Knight v. Wiseman, No. 09-1435

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Decided December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Flaum, Manion, and Wood, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Flaum,  Circuit Judge

US v. McGowan, No. 08-1384

Conviction of defendant for wire fraud and investment advisor fraud is confirmed where: 1) the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that a victim-witness was unavailable to testify at trial and allowing testimony by videotaped deposition as the court repeatedly noted the witness's medical problems were severe and chronic; and 2) district court was correct to reject defendant's motion to dismiss on statute of limitation grounds as wire communications that lull a victim into a false sense of security, such as the eighteen calls to the victim in this case, after the victim's money had already been obtained is sufficient to further the scheme. 

Read US v. McGowan, No. 08-1384

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Nouthern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 22, 2009

Judges

Before:  Wood, Sykes, and Rovner, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Rovne, Circuit Judge

Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC, No. 09-2523

In plaintiff's action against defendant claiming that it fraudulently claimed that a lamp designed to relieve pain and improve circulation was approved  by the FDA for the treatment of a condition involving numbness and tingling in the extremities caused by diabetes and other diseases, judgment in favor of the defendant is affirmed as there is serious doubt whether the plaintiff ever had a good-faith basis for claiming damages in excess of $75,000, and by adding a federal claim after removal, plaintiff brought its suit within the federal-question jurisdiction of the district court and its state-law claims within the district court's supplemental jurisdiction, which has no minimum amount in controversy requirement.  

Read Nightingale Home Healthcare, Inc. v. Anodyne Therapy, LLC, No. 09-2523

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Posner, Kanne, and Rovner, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

Hendrickson v. Cooper, No. 09-1375

In an inmate's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action against an officer at a prison facility claiming that the officer attacked him without justification, jury verdict in favor of plaintiff-inmate is affirmed where: 1) the evidence amply supports the jury's verdict that the officer violated plaintiff's Eighth Amendment rights as he attacked the plaintiff for the malicious purpose of causing harm; 2) jury's award of $75,000 was rationally connected to plaintiff's evidence of pain and suffering; and 3) jury's award of $125,000 in punitive damages is not excessive and the jury heard ample evidence that the defendant acted with the malicious desire to cause plaintiff harm.   

Read Hendrickson v. Cooper, No. 09-1375

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Terre Haute Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Manion, Sykes, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by TInder, Circuit Judge

Collins v. Heritage Wine Cellars, Ltd., No. 09-1181

In an action under the Fair Labor Standards Act brought by truck drivers against a wholesale importer and distributor of wine claiming that they were not paid overtime, judgment for the defendant is affirmed as the portion of the transportation that is entirely within Illinois is nevertheless interstate commerce within the meaning of the Motor Carrier Act and therefore, the Fair Labor Standards Act exempts from its overtime provisions any employee with respect to whom the Secretary of Transportation has power to establish qualifications and maximum hours of service pursuant to the provisions of section 31502 of title 49. 

Read Collins v. Heritage Wine Cellars, Ltd., No. 09-1181

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Posner, Manion, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

Mahaffey v. Ramos, No. 08-3916

District court's denial of a defendant's habeas petition, alleging that the prosecution violated the Fourteenth Amendment by excluding blacks from the jury on account of their race, is affirmed as the state court's finding that the prosecutor's use of peremptory challenges was motivated by legitimate, race-neutral concerns was clearly not unreasonable.   

Read Mahaffey v. Ramos, No. 08-3916

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Bauer, Kanne, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Bauer, Circuit Judge

In Re: marchFIRST, Inc., No. 08-3600

In plaintiff's action against a debtor seeking damages when it filed for bankruptcy protections and failed to return leased phone equipment to plaintiff, dismissal of the claims is affirmed as plaintiff's claims accrued more than five years before it filed its complaint and its claims are barred by the five-year statute of limitations.  

Read In Re: marchFIRST, Inc., No. 08-3600

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Bauer, Sykes, Circuit Judges, and Simon, District Judge

Opinion by Bauer, Circuit Judge

Lewis v. City of Chicago Police Dep't, No. 08-2877

In a police officer's gender and employment discrimination and retaliation suit against the City of Chicago and her supervisor, jury verdict for defendants is affirmed as plaintiff's claims are without merit and city and supervisor presented sufficient evidence to provide the jury a reasonable basis to find in their favor, and the verdict was not against the manifest weight of the evidence.     

Read Lewis v. City of Chicago Police Dep't, No. 08-2877

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before: Evans, Sykes, Circuit Judges, and Simon, District Judge

Opinion by Simon, District Judge

White v. Gaetz, No. 08-2766

District court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief, claiming that the way in which the bystander venire was selected violated his constitutional right to have his jury selected from a fair cross section of the community, is affirmed as the sheriff exercised his responsibility under the Illinois bystander statute by rounding out a small portion of the venire by calling upon supervisors in government offices to furnish potential jurors.     

Read White v. Gaetz, No. 08-2766

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Decided December 21, 2009

Judges

Before:  Evans, Sykes, Circuit Judges, and Simon, District Judge

Opinion by Simon, District Judge

Storie v. Randy's Auto Sales, LLC, No. 09-1675

In plaintiff's action against a used-automobile dealer for selling him a truck that had been involved in a fatal accident without having applied for a salvage title as required under Indiana law, plaintiff's appeal from an adverse summary judgment ruling is certified to the Indiana Supreme Court to determine whether an entity that purchases and later sells a wrecked vehicle is required to apply for a salvage title under Ind. Code section 9-22-3-11(e) when it no longer owns the vehicle upon receipt of the certificate of title. 

Read Storie v. Randy's Auto Sales, LLC, No. 09-1675

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

Decided December 17, 2009

Judges

Before:  Cudahy, Wood, and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Cudahy, Circuit Judge

US v. Corner, No. 08-1033

Sentence of 188 months' imprisonment on a defendant as a career offender for possessing with intent to distribute cocaine base is affirmed where: 1) defendant was sentenced properly as a career offender as criminal trespass to a dwelling is a crime of violence; and 2) defendant, as a career offender, is not entitled to a sentencing remand because career offenders' base offense levels track the statutory maximums of their convictions. 

Read US v. Corner, No. 08-1033

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Decided December 17, 2009

Judges

Before:  Ripple, Rovner, and Evans, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Ripple, Circuit Judge

Pro's Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. v. City of Country Club Hills, No. 09-2082

In a dispute between a bar and a city over a liquor license with hours restrictions, district court's conclusion that the plaintiff was likely to prevail on its due process claim and faced irreparable harm if forced to continue operating under the more limited hours restriction in granting the preliminary injunction is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff has a protected property interest in a liquor license with the same hours as other license holders in the city as nothing in the text of the ordinance suggests that the council intended to amend the hours of operation section or to exclude plaintiff from its effects; 2) plaintiff has shown that it has been deprived of that property without due process of law as it did not receive a pre-deprivation hearing or any of the other protections; and 3) district court did not abuse its discretion in its balancing of the preliminary injunction factors given the strong likelihood of success of the merits, the concrete and irreparable harm to plaintiff's outweighs any interest advanced by the city in continuing to enforce the hours limitation.   

Read Pro's Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. v. City of Country Club Hills, No. 09-2082

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 16, 2009

Judges

Before:  Flaum, Manion, and Wood, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Flaum,  Circuit Judge

US v, Villalpando, No. 09-1263

Conviction of defendant for possession and intent to distribute cocaine and sentenced to 70 months' imprisonment is affirmed as the incriminating statements defendant gave to the police after his arrest was voluntary because defendant's choice to reveal the cocaine in his safe was rationally made within the context of the negotiations and not the result of false promises made by the police.   

Read US v, Villalpando, No. 09-1263

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

Decided December 16, 2009

Judges

Before:  Flaum, Wood, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by TInder, Circuit Judge

Ramos v. Holder, No. 09-1932

Petition for review a BIA's denial of an El Salvadoran citizen's petition for withholding of removal on the ground that former Salvadoran gang members do not constitute a particular social group, nor can membership in a criminal gang constitute membership in a particular social group, is granted and the Board's decision is vacated and remanded as a gang is a group and being a former member of a group is a characteristic impossible to change, except perhaps by rejoining the group. 

Read Ramos v. Holder, No. 09-1932

Appellate Information

Petition for Review and Order of the Board of Immigration Appeasl

Decided December 15, 2009

Judges

Before:  Cudahy, Posner, and Rovner, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

US v. Kirkpatrick, No. 09-2382

Sentence of 108 months' imprisonment for being a felon in possession of a firearm, more than double the top of the Guidelines' range, is vacated and remanded as the sentence appears to be chosen arbitrarily, and although the Guidelines are no longer binding, a judge still must start by using the Guidelines to provide a benchmark that curtails unwarranted disparities. 

Read US v. Kirkpatrick, No. 09-2382

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois

Decided December 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Easterbrook, Chief Judge, Rovner and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Easterbrook, Chief Judge

In a suit by a Bulgarian construction company against a Bulgarian-American bank claiming predatory lending practices, brought after the same parties settled a suit brought by the bank against the construction company for breach of contract in Bulgaria, dismissal of the suit on forum non conveniens grounds is affirmed as, not only was the court well within its discretion, but correct as a matter of common sense in concluding that Bulgaria was an available, adequate forum to resolve the dispute over a Bulgarian loan contract and balanced all of the relevant private and public interest factors, which strongly favored Bulgaria as the more convenient forum.  

Read Stroitelstvo Bulgaria, Ltd v. Bulgarian-American Enter. Fund, No. 09-1753

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 14, 2009

Judges

Before:  Sykes, Manion, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Tinder, Circuit Judge

In re: Hijazi, No. 08-3060

Defendant's petition for a writ of mandamus arising from his indictment for various fraud-related charges involving a contract with the United States Army to  provide goods and services to military locations throughout the world, including Kuwait, is granted under the three conditions set forth by the Supreme Court in Cheney v. U.S. Dist. Court and the district court is ordered to rule on defendant's motion to dismiss the indictment where: 1) even though ordinary proceedings do not provide an adequate alternative, defendant is asking for relief well within the power of the district court where, as a Lebanese citizen and resident of Kuwait, defendant is under no obligation to travel to the U.S. for his arraignment, there is no extradition treaty between the U.S. and Kuwait and Kuwait has formally refused to extradite him, and as long as the indictment hangs over defendant, he is prejudiced even if he does not travel to the U.S. as INTERPOL has been directed by U.S. to issue a red notice to arrest defendant if he enters their jurisdiction; 2) the right to the issuance of the writ is clear and indisputable as there is no doubt that the question of how far a statute, such as the Major Fraud Act and the Wire Fraud Act, reaches out to address conduct undertaken outside the U.S. is a fundamental one, and as more than enough time has passed, defendant is entitled to a ruling on his motions now; and 3) this case is an appropriate candidate for mandamus as defendant's arguments raise serious questions about the reach of U.S. law, and it remains to be seen whether the U.S. contacts on which the government relies are sufficient to support its prosecution.  Finally, with regards to the fugitive dis-entitlement doctrine and mutuality, although the district court correctly recognized that the doctrine does not apply to defendant's situation, the court took too narrow a view of the adverse consequences that defendant would suffer if he loses on his motion to dismiss.   

Read In re: Hijazi, No. 08-3060

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Decided December 11, 2009

Judges

Before:Posner, Wood, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Wood, Circuit Judge

Woods v. Schwartz, No. 08-1234

District court's denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief following his conviction for murder and sentence to forty years' imprisonment is affirmed where: 1) some of defendant's ineffective assistance claims were procedurally defaulted as it was clear that a state court's decision to deny defendant's third post-conviction petition did not fairly appear to either rest on, or to be interwoven with, federal law; 2) defendant has not shown that failure to consider these claims will result in miscarriage of justice; and 3) the appellate court's rejection of defendant's preserved ineffective assistance of counsel claim related to his trial counsel's failure to call a witness as an alibi witness was not contrary to or an unreasonable application of clearly established federal law.     

Read Woods v. Schwartz, No. 08-1234

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 9, 2009

Judges

Before:Posner, Manion, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Manion, Circuit Judge

Sobitan v. Glud, No. 07-3119

In plaintiff's suit against a customs officer for arresting him for illegal reentry into the U.S. and against the Assistant United States Attorney who prosecuted the case, grant of the government's motion for substitution and dismissal under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act (Westfall Act) is affirmed where: 1) the district court correctly substituted the U.S. as defendant, as plaintiff's claim for relief for violation of his rights under the Vienna Convention does not fall within an exception to the Westfall Act's substitution provision; and 2) the district court properly dismissed plaintiff's claim as the source of his claims is not state tort law, but international treaty and as such, does not fall within the United States' waiver of its sovereign immunity in section 1346(b). 

Read Sobitan v. Glud, No. 07-3119

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 9, 2009

Judges

Before:  Ripple, Manion, and Tinder, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Ripple, Circuit Judge

Rao v. BP Products N. America, Inc., No. 07-2065

In plaintiff's suit against BP alleging Petroleum Marketing Practices Act (PMPA), RICO, fraud, breach of contract, and extortion claims arising from BP's termination of its franchise relationship with plaintiff at his two BP gas stations, judgment in favor of BP is affirmed where: 1) BP acquired knowledge of plaintiff's failure to comply with a franchise provision when he stopped cooperating with BP's investigation, so notice was timely; and 2) dismissal of plaintiff's claims under RICO and common law fraud is affirmed because the allegations in the complaint did not sufficiently state a claim on either count. 

Read Rao v. BP Products N. America, Inc., No. 07-2065

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 9, 2009

Judges

Before:  Bauer, Flaum, and Williams, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Williams, Circuit Judge

McAfee v. Thurmer, No. 09-1230

Denial of defendant's petition for habeas relief from a conviction and life sentence for the first degree murder of a police officer 13 years ago is affirmed as defendant's trial counsel's performance was not constitutionally ineffective, and even if deficient performance could be found, defendant cannot show that there is a reasonable probability that the result of the trial would have been different but for counsel's shortcomings.     

Read McAfee v. Thurmer, No. 09-1230

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Decided December 8, 2009

Judges

Before:Posner, Manion, and Evans, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Evans, Circuit Judge

Patterson v. Indiana Newspapers, Inc., No. 08-2050

In plaintiffs' suit against their former employer alleging employment discrimination on the basis of their religious belief that homosexual conduct is sinful and other claims, summary judgment in favor of the employer is affirmed where: 1) plaintiff cannot show that she met the newspaper's legitimate performance expectations or that a similarly situated employee who did not share her religious beliefs was treated more favorably; 2) the other plaintiff's discrimination case based on religion, race, and age, and his retaliations claim, also failed because he could not show that he was meeting the employer's legitimate performance expectations; and 3) district court properly dismissed the plaintiffs' claims for negligent infliction of emotional distress as, under the "modified impact" version of the tort, there is no evidence whatsoever to support such a claim.  

Read Patterson v. Indiana Newspapers, Inc., No. 08-2050

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division

Decided December 8, 2009

Judges

Before: Cudahy, Flaum, and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Sykes, Circuit Judge

Milam v. Dominick's Finder Foods, Inc., No. 09-1686

In six black produce clerks' employment discrimination suit on racial grounds against their employer alleging that the company classified two white women as produce clerks without proper notice that it would have enabled the plaintiffs to claim hours from the women because of their seniority, district court's dismissal of the suit is affirmed as, defendant presented evidence that it was an innocent mistake and plaintiffs presented no rebuttal nor evidence of damages.   

Read Milam v. Dominick's Finder Foods, Inc., No. 09-1686

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 7, 2009

Judges

Before:Posner, Kanne and Rovner, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

Mann v. Calumet City, No. 09-1681

In plaintiffs' suit against a city challenging the constitutionality of an ordinance that forbids the sale of a house without an inspection to determine whether it is in compliance with the city's building code, district court's dismissal of the suit for failure to state a claim is affirmed as, the ordinance is constitutional and therefore, there has been no violation of plaintiffs' rights, and as such, they are not entitled to reimbursement for the costs the ordinance imposed on them.   

Read Mann v. Calumet City, No. 09-1681

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 7, 2009

Judges

Before: Bauer, Posner and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Posner, Circuit Judge

US v. Crowder, No. 08-3320

District court's sentencing and conviction of defendant for conspiracy and attempted possession of drugs is affirmed where: 1) defendant did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in his vehicle after he turned it over to the shipper, and because he lacked a reasonable expectation of privacy in the vehicle, he does not have standing to challenge the search of the car and subsequent seizure of the drugs hidden inside; 2) even if defendant had standing to challenge the search, the search complied with the requirements of the Fourth Amendment; 3) district court did not err in denying defendant's motion for a continuance; 4) defendant's claim that his conviction should be reversed because the indictment was constructively amended is rejected; and 5) the Blockburger test should be applied at the sentencing phase to determine whether separate sentences are appropriate for the crimes charged and convicted, even where those crimes arise out of a single criminal act, and here, defendant may be sentenced for both conspiracy and attempt.   

Read US v. Crowder, No. 08-3320

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 7, 2009

Judges

Before: Bauer, Kanne, and Evans, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Kanne, Circuit Judge

Srail v. Village of Lisle, No. 08-3206

In plaintiffs' class action suit against an Illinois town and a subdivision therein alleging violation of the Equal Protection Clause and state negligence laws by discriminating against them by expanding its water services to other subdivisions within the town but not to theirs, district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the town on the equal protection claim and denial of plaintiffs' motion for supplemental jurisdiction over the state law claim is affirmed where: 1) plaintiffs have failed to establish that they have a cognizable claim under Enquist; and 2) even if the plaintiffs' claim was cognizable, they have failed to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether they are similarly situated to like individuals and whether the town had a rational basis for its disparate treatment of plaintiffs.   

Read Srail v. Village of Lisle, No. 08-3206

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 7, 2009

Judges

Before: Ripple, Kanne and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Kanne, Circuit Judge

US v. Burnside, No. 08-4135

Defendant's conviction for possession of a controlled substance while on parole for a cocaine distribution conviction is affirmed where: 1) district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to suppress as there was probable cause to arrest him for possession of a controlled substance, and as such, the subsequent seizure of crack cocaine from his pants was lawful; 2) district court's denial of a motion to suppress evidence recovered from the search was proper as the issuing state court judge had a substantial and legally sufficient basis for concluding that probable cause existed to issue the warrant; and 3) the district court did not violate Rule 11(c)(1) during the plea colloquy. 

Read US v. Burnside, No. 08-4135

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Decided December 3, 2009

Judges

Before: Easterbrook, Chief Judge, Kanne and Sykes, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Kanne, Circuit Judge

Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Ass'n v. Clarke, No. 08-1515

In a suit brought by two sheriff deputies under 18 U.S.C. section 1983 alleging a violation of the Establishment and Free Exercise Clauses of the First Amendment when the sheriff invited a Christian group to speak at a number of mandatory employee meetings, grant of plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment on the Establishment Clause claim is affirmed as the religious group's presentations during mandatory employee gatherings gave, at the least, the appearance of endorsement by the sheriff's department, and thus, defendants violated the Establishment Clause.  

Read Milwaukee Deputy Sheriffs' Ass'n v. Clarke, No. 08-1515

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin

Decided December 4, 2009

Judges

Before: Bauer, Cudahy and Williams, Circuit Judges

Opinion by Williams, Judge

Senske v. Sybase, Inc. , No. 09-1610

In plaintiff's age discrimination lawsuit against his former employer, district court's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is affirmed as no reasonable jury could find that plaintiff's age was the real reason behind his termination, rather than his performance deficiencies.   

Read Senske v. Sybase, Inc. , No. 09-1610

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 3, 2009

Judges

Before: Bauer, Evans, and Kanne  Circuit Judges

Opinion by Evans, Judge

US v. Kimoto, No. 08-3731

Conviction of defendant for conspiracy, mail fraud, and wire fraud, arising from fraudulent marketing of defendant's financial products is affirmed for the most part where: 1) there is ample evidence in the record to support the jury's conclusion that defendant had the requisite intent to defraud and that he and another individual formed an agreement to commit fraud; 2) there was no error in denying defendant's motion to dismiss, motion for a new trial and motion to reconsider as none of the district court's rulings on the alleged Brady, Youngblood or Jenkins Act violations constitutes an abuse of discretion; and 3) district court's enhancement for the number of victims is remanded because the court's calculation of the number of victims did not focus on actual loss, and because that enhancement affects defendant's sentencing range.   

Read US v. Kimoto, No. 08-3731

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Decided December 2, 2009

Judges

Before: Posner, Ripple, and Kanne  Circuit Judges

Opinion by Ripple, Judge

US v. Singleton, No. 09-1710

District court's 97 months' imprisonment of a defendant in a conviction  for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute over five kilograms of cocaine is affirmed where: 1) the indictment contains each of the required elements and was sufficient to notify defendant of what the government intended to prove; 2) district court did not err in denying defendant's motion to withdraw the guilty plea; and 3) the sentence imposed was reasonable.  

Read US v. Singleton, No. 09-1710

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the  Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 2, 2009

Judges

Before:  Bauer and Sykes,  Circuit Judges, and Simon, District Judge

Opinion by Bauer, Circuit Judge

Johnson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 08-4226

In plaintiff's negligence suit against Wal-Mart for selling bullets to his wife without asking her for the identification card required by Illinois law (she later committed suicide), dismissal of the complaint is affirmed as Illinois law continues to deem suicide an independent intervening event that breaks the chain of causation, even after an illicit gun sale. 

Read Johnson v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., No. 08-4226

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois

Decided December 1, 2009

Judges

Before:  Cudahy, Flaum and Evans,  Circuit Judges

Opinion by Flaum, Judge

Thomas v. Cook County Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-2232

In plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit against a county, sheriff, and correctional employees, alleging that defendants violated her son's constitutional rights by failing to respond to his serious medical needs while detained, jury verdict in favor of the plaintiff and award in the amount of $4,450,000 is affirmed for the most part where: 1) the jury had sufficient evidence to impose liability against the county and officers for their deliberate indifference to the detainee's medical needs; 2) there is insufficient evidence to hold the sheriff liable as the causal connection between the sheriff's policies and practices and detainee's death is tenuous in light of the jury's finding that individual correctional officers deliberately disregarded the detainee's medical needs; 3) nonetheless, the sheriff's absence as a liable party does not affect the jury's compensatory damage award as the parties are jointly and severally liable for the entire award, which measures the amount required to compensate the plaintiff for her indivisible harm, and the sheriff only added an additional source from whom the plaintiff could collect; 4) jury's damage award for constitutional violations that resulted in death is not excessive; and 5) none of the defendants' evidentiary challenges warrant reversal. 

Read Thomas v. Cook County Sheriff's Dep't., No. 08-2232

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division

Decided December 1, 2009

Judges

Before:  Flaum, Wood, and Williams,  Circuit Judges

Opinion by Williams, Judge

Kanter v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 08-1036

In a case begun in 1986, now involving the estate of a well-known tax attorney, seeking review of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue's determination that the attorney had not paid all his taxes, judgment of the Tax Court is reversed and remanded as the Tax Court did not show the proper level of deference to the Special Trial Judge's (STJ) factual findings where: 1) STJ's factual findings are not clearly erroneous with respect to petitioner's tax liability and tax fraud; 2) there is no reversible error in the STJ's conclusion that petitioner was not the owner of the trusts in question, and as such, he is not liable for the tax deficiencies that the Commissioner assessed; 3) with respect to the partnership, the Tax Court lacked jurisdiction over the 1983, 1984, and 1986 tax years; and 4) STJ's conclusion that only the 1% interest that petitioner held in the partnership for the 1981 and 1982 tax years was taxable is not clearly erroneous.     

Read Kanter v. Comm'r of Internal Revenue, No. 08-1036

Appellate Information

Appeal from the United States Tax Court

Decided December 1, 2009

Judges

Before:  Cudahy, Ripple, and Wood,  Circuit Judges

Opinion by Wood, Judge